Autumn Splendor

It definitely feels like autumn here in Sacramento. The late evenings and early mornings are cooler now, and some much-needed rain fell upon the city over the past few days. While I am not thrilled at the prospect of more days of falling temperatures and decreasing daylight, I find consolation in looking at beautiful autumn landscapes and brightly colored autumn leaves.

Autumn Lakes

Autumn-lake-morning-foliage – Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

 Autumn Lake Morning Foliage

Autumn Lake Morning Foliage
10 November 2011
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2012/01/autumn-lake-morning-foliage/

 

Lake Vuoksa 1.jpg

By Dmitry A. Mottl (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa.

Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa.
20 October 2009

 

Steirapollen, 2010 September.JPG

By Ximonic, Simo Räsänen (Own work) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

 A view to Steirapollen from Knutstadveien (E10) towards east in 2010 September.

A view to Steirapollen from Knutstadveien (E10) towards east in 2010 September.
28 November 2010

 

Barques lac Val Joyeux Chateau-la-Valliere.jpg

Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Flat-bottomed rowboats on the Val Joyeux pond (so-called "lake") in Château-la-Vallière, Indre-et-Loire, France.

Flat-bottomed rowboats on the Val Joyeux pond (so-called “lake”) in Château-la-Vallière, Indre-et-Loire, France.
1 November 2011

Autumn Paths

Autumn Forest

By Larisa Koshkina     http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=66634&picture=autumn-forest

Autumn forest and mysterious path between trees

Autumn forest and mysterious path between trees
(Note: No details were available about where this picture was taken.)

 

The Long Plantation (1) – geograph.org.uk – 1561741.jpg

Peter Trimming [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

the Long Plantation path in autumn

The Long Plantation (1) Superb autumn colours, with just a hint of sunlight filtering through the canopy, made me glad that I chose this route. The path is very narrow in places, this being one of the wider points. View in the direction in which I was heading; from Chipstead, towards Fanny’s Farm Shop.
30 October 2009
Source: From geograph.org.uk

Autumn Light

Park zamkowy w Pszczynie 03promykjck.jpg

By Jacek Cisło (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-pl], via Wikimedia Commons

 Heritage castle park in Pszczyna, Poland.

Heritage castle park in Pszczyna, Poland.
This is a photo of an object of cultural heritage inscribed in the registry of the Silesian Voivodeship with number A/535/65.
30 September 2012, 21:55:11

 

Autumn-trees-leaves-foliage-sunset – West Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

 Autumn Trees Leaves Foliage Sunset

Autumn Trees Leaves Foliage Sunset
1 November 2010
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2010/11/autumn-trees-leaves-foliage-sunset/

 

Country-road-autumn-mountain-sunset – Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

Country Road Autumn Mountain Sunset

Country Road Autumn Mountain Sunset
27 August 2011
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2011/08/country-road-autumn-mountain-sunset/

 

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Good-bye Summer

With autumn literally just a few days away, I want to take one last look at the beauty of summer in this week’s post.

Summer Flowers

2014-06-24 12 17 46 Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada.JPG

By Famartin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada

Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada
24 June 2014, 12:17:46

 

Pontederia cordata 4 PP.jpg

By Cephas (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pontederia cordata, Plaisance National Park, Quebec, Canada.

Pontederia cordata, Plaisance National Park, Quebec, Canada.
12 July 2011

 

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park.jpg

I, Michael Gäbler [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park. View over the Snake River to the Mount Moran with the Skillet Glacier (12,605 ft/3,842 m), Bivouac Peak (10,825 ft/3,299 m) and Eagles Rest Peak (11,258 ft/3,431 m) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States.

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park. View over the Snake River to the Mount Moran with the Skillet Glacier (12,605 ft/3,842 m), Bivouac Peak (10,825 ft/3,299 m) and Eagles Rest Peak (11,258 ft/3,431 m) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States.
July 1980

Summer Forests

Tarvasjõgi.jpg

By Ireen Trummer (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia.

Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia.
24 August 2011

 

Waterfall Julian Alps Slovena (1).JPG

By User:Cfp (My Pentax Optio S4.) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A photo of a waterfall taken near Kranjska Gora, Julian Alps, Slovenia in Summer 2004.

Taken near Kranjska Gora, Julian Alps, Slovenia in Summer 2004.

Harvest Time

Burford, Oxfordshire, August 2006 harvest, stubble fields and straw bales 1.jpg

By David McDermott (Flickr: English Harvest) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Numerous round straw bales (and a few stacked square ones) on stubble fields.

Numerous round straw bales (and a few stacked square ones) on stubble fields. – Grain harvest is early this year; farmland just outside of Burford, Oxfordshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds in England.
8 August 2006, 07:42
Source: Flickr: English Harvest

 

Wheat close-up.JPG

By User:Bluemoose (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wheat plants

Wheat.
August 2005

Summer Sunsets

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.jpg

By Serhiy Kostyshyn (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.
3 June 2006

 

Ehrenberg in Ilmenau.jpg

By Felix Neumann [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A composite image (from three exposures of the same scene), depicting the summer sunset across the Ehrenberg in Ilmenau, Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.

A composite image (from three exposures of the same scene), depicting the summer sunset across the Ehrenberg in Ilmenau, Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.
25 July 2007
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-contented/2000114409/

 

Goodbye, summer day (5402830641).jpg

By Bernal Saborio from Costa Rica (goodbye, summer day) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

photo of a sunset with palm tree silhouettes

goodbye, summer day
28 January 2011, 17:21
Source: goodbye, summer day

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Mermaid

imaginenewdesigns12:

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing my latest work.

Originally posted on Moonlight Gallery:

mermaid4-opt

View original

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Hot Air Balloons

On  my way to San Francisco, I saw some hot air balloons outside of Davis, which is a city located just outside of Sacramento. They were conventional round hot air balloons, and they drifted slowly across the sky. While I do not want to ride in a hot air balloon, I enjoyed seeing them.

Hot air balloons have an interesting history. Their origins can be traced back to China. According to Wikipedia, China used unmanned hot air balloons for military signalling during the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 AD).

The birth of modern-day hot air balloons began in Europe. According to Wikipedia, “the first documented balloon flight in Europe was demonstrated by Bartolomeu de Gusmão. On August 8, 1709, in Lisbon, he managed to lift a balloon full of hot air about 4.5 meters in front of King John V and the Portuguese court.”

After Gusmão’s demonstration, additional attempts to launch hot air balloons occurred in France. The first unmanned flight of a hot air balloon in France occurred on September 19, 1783. While there are some slight variations in the details of this flight in the sources I consulted, there seems to be a consensus that the balloon transported a sheep, a duck, and a rooster in the air anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes before crashing to the ground. This demonstration was seen by Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the rest of the French court.

The first manned hot air balloon flight occurred two months later on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France. According to the National Balloon Museum website, this flight “was in a hot air balloon made of paper and silk made by the Montgolfier brothers,” and the “balloon carried two men, Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis of d’ Arlanders.”  During this flight lasting about 25 minutes, “the balloon reached an altitude of at least 500 feet and traveled about 5½ miles.”

Even though the materials and designs may have changed over the years, hot air balloons remain popular today. People celebrate this captivating invention at hot air balloon festivals all over the world. Here are some fun photos of unusual hot air balloons at these festivals.

Sources:

“Ballooning History” – National Balloon Museum

“History of Airships and Balloons” by Mary Bellis  –  About.com

“Hot air balloon” – Wikipedia

“The History of Hot Air Ballooning” – eballoon.org

“Who Invented the Hot-Air Balloon?” by Nina Sen – Livescience.com

Characters

Darth vader hot air balloon 1.jpg

By Darth_vader_hot_air_balloon.jpg: Tomas Castelazoderivative work: Jebulon (Darth_vader_hot_air_balloon.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Darth Vader head  hot air balloon

Hot Air Balloon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. 27 November 2010, 15:31 (UTC)

 

Leon hot air balloon festival 2010.jpg

By Tomas Castelazo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Sponge Bob Square Pants hot air balloons and other hot air balloons at a hot air ballon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico

Hot air balloon festival in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. November 2010.

 

Moi, moche et méchant 2, Minion au Paquier d’Annecy.jpg

By Boungawa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Giant balloon shaped Me Minion Despicable Paquier the Annecy animation during 2013 Festival

French: Ballon géant en forme de Minion de Moi, moche et méchant au Paquier d’Annecy lors du Festival d’animation 2013.
English: Giant balloon shaped Me Minion Despicable Paquier the Annecy animation during 2013 Festival.
2 July 2013, 15:55:27

 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011 – Spider Pig balloon.JPG

By Mav (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Spider pig" hot air balloon

1 October 2011

Historical Themes

BallonKathedrale01 edit.jpg

Böhringer Friedrich (Foto); fliegende Kathedrale der beiden Künstler Jan Kaeser St.Gallen und Martin Zimmermann St.Gallen [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Flying Cathedral" hot air balloon by Jan Kaeser and Matin Zimmermann (Artists from St.Gallen). This balloon is a lookalike of the Church of the Monastery of St. Gallen.

Balloon
Swiss Aircraft Registry-Nr.:HB_QSG
Manufacturer:KUBICEK S.R.O. *** Bj.2002
27 June 2008 Aircraft-Pattern/Type:SPEC.SHAPE BB GALLEN
Main Owners:Kanton St. Gallen; CH-9001 St. Gallen, Regierungsgebäude
Main holders:B & M Balloon & Airship Company GmbH; CH-8593 Kesswil, Breitfeldstrasse 1, Postfach 1
“Flying Cathedral” by Jan Kaeser and Matin Zimmermann (Artists from St.Gallen) lookalike of Church of the Monastery of St. Gallen. Seen at the “internationalen Ballontagen Alpenrheintal” [3] on the bridge festival[4] Wiesenrain in Lustenau – Widnau.


 

Festival de Montgolfières de Gatineau 03.JPG

By Jamez42 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

hot air balloon that looks like the head of a man with a hat

Balloons at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. 4 September 2005, 17:28:10

 

Pipy-Canberra Baloon Fiesta 2006.jpg

By Ruth Ellison from Canberra, Australia (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pipy, the Scottish Piper balloon, Canberra Baloon Fiesta, Australia, 2006

Pipy, the Scottish Piper balloon, Canberra Baloon Fiesta, Australia, 2006.
Taken at the Canberra Balloon Fiesta. “Owner and pilot, Muir Moffat explains that the PIPER is a Pipe Major in full regalia wearing his family tartan, the Red Fraser, while the cap and sporran badges are of his old school, Morrison’s Academy.” Source – ‘PIPY” PIPES US INTO THE SKY, Canberra Balloon Fiesta website.
April 22, 2006
Source: Flickr

Objects

Helball07-024.jpg

By Renbo (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen

Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
2007

 

Helball07-036.jpg

By Renbo (Eigenes Werk von Helmut Jakob (own work)) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen

Deutsch: Heißluftballon in Chambley Lothringen
2007

Flora, Fauna, and More

International hot air balloon festival in leon guanajuato mexico 02.jpg

In order to comply with the use and licensing terms of this image, the following text must must be included with the image when published in any medium, failure to do so constitutes a violation of the licensing terms and copyright infringement: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

butterfly hot air balloon and other hot air balloons at the International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2012 in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico

International hot air balloon festival 2012 in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico. This is the 2nd most important balloon festival in the world and first in Latin America.
16 November 2012, 08:28:05

 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011 – Creamland Cow balloon.JPG

By Mav (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Creamland Cow hot air balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2011

1 October 2011

 

Mister Bup the Turtle (Ferrara Balloons Festival, 2007).jpg

By Tommaso.gavioli (Transferred from it:Wikipedia: it:Immagine:Bup.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Mister Bup the Turtle hot air balloon at the Ferrara Balloons Festival 2007

Mister Bup of Ferrara Balloons Festival.
11 July 2007

 

AIBF, The Approach, 2007.jpg

By Eric Ward from Provo, UT, USA (The Approach Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Mister Bup the Turtle hot air balloon touches a nearby balloon with both hands

Mr. Bup has very soft hands…
13 October 2007, 07:58
Source: The Approach

 

Pink elephant in the sky.jpg

By Tomascastelazo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pink elephant hot air balloon and other hot air balloons at the hot air balloon festival in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico

Hot air balloon festival in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, the largest hot air balloon in Latin America, third in the world. In 2011, about 185 flew during the festival.
21 November 2011

 

Aeromagic SS-30-OC AN0273305.jpg

By John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

"Octupus's Garden" hot air balloon shortly after launch from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

“Octupus’s Garden” shortly after launch from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
2 September 2002
Source:
Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeromagic-SS-30-OC/0273305/L
Photo http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/5/0/3/0273305.jpg

 

Aeromagic SS AN0273289.jpg

By John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Amazon Rainforest Tree/Amazon Birds passes over Ottawa after launching from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Amazon Rainforest Tree/Amazon Birds passes over Ottawa after launching from the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.
30 August 2002
Source:
Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/Aeromagic-SS/0273289/L
Photo http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/9/8/2/0273289.jpg

 

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2009-25.JPG

By NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

green monster hot air balloon a the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2009

Bristol Balloon Fiesta, early morning ascent 2009.
7 August 2009

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Replicas of Famous Landmarks

The lure of famous landmarks is irresistible. When I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, I saw a large number of tourists with cameras in the rest area beside it. It did not seem to matter to them that haze partially obscured the view of the bridge. They were at one of the most famous bridges in the world!

That enthusiasm for experiencing something well-known and popular exists for other famous landmarks as well. For some people, however, visiting famous landmarks is not enough. They go one step further and build copies of them in their own towns. However, not all of these replicas of famous landmarks are exact duplicates. What I like about the replicas featured in this week’s post is that their creators added their own special twist to them, spicing up what would otherwise be dull viewing.

Eiffel Tower Replica – Paris, Texas

Texas Twisted notes that this Eiffel Tower replica was “erected by the Boiler Makers Local #902 in 1995.” With a height of 65 feet, it “was once billed as the ‘Second Largest Eiffel Tower in the Second Largest Paris.’” It lost this title a few years later when Tennessee relocated its 60-foot Eiffel Tower replica from Memphis to Paris, Tennessee, and builders added 10 feet to the Tennessee tower. (Tennessee eventually lost the title to Las Vegas when Las Vegas built a 540-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower along the Strip in 1999.)

Sources:

“Eiffel Tower With Big Cowboy Hat” – RoadsideAmerica.com

“The Eiffel Tower Paris, Texas” – Texas Twisted

Accepting defeat, the people of Paris, Texas, turned their energies elsewhere. Here is what they did according to Weird U.S.:

Rather than enter into an elevation race, the people of Lamar County decided instead to redeem themselves by making their landmark distinctly Texan. In 1998, a giant, red cowboy hat was bolted to the top of the tower. It was a blatant gimmick that many locals considered tres stupide, but it has certainly set Paris, Texas, apart from the others in a way that isn’t likely to be duplicated. Besides, it makes for a better postcard.

Source: “The Eiffel Tower of Paris, Texas” – Weird U.S.

Anyjazz65 – Paris, Texas – Eiffel tower replica.jpg

By anyjazz65 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

Replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas
2 May 2008
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49024304@N00/2470601639

Eiffel Tower Replica Paris Texas DSC 0602 ad.JPG

By Adavyd (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Eiffel Tower Replica, Paris (Texas, USA)

Eiffel Tower Replica, Paris (Texas, USA)
14 October 2012, 12:13:20

Statue of Liberty Replicas

According to Wikipedia, “hundreds of smaller replicas of the Statue of Liberty have been created worldwide.” They can be found in a variety of settings such as parks, hotels, and building rooftops. The following replicas are from the United States. Some of these replicas stood out for me because of the use of unconventional color, style, and materials, while others presented an unusually fragmented view of Lady Liberty.

Source: “Replicas of the Statue of Liberty” – Wikipedia

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty 1.jpg

By Marianne O’Leary (originally posted to Flickr as New York Yankees) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty, part of a promotion for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game.

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty, part of a promotion for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game.
2 July 2008, 06:13:35
Source: originally posted to Flickr as New York Yankees

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty 2.jpg

By Chris (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_1091) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty #2, promotion for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game.

New York Yankees Statue of Liberty #2, promotion for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game.
12 July 2008, 15:11:05
Source: originally posted to Flickr as IMG_1091

Statue of Liberty made with LEGO.jpg

By Banfield (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-ar], via Wikimedia Commons

Liberty Statue made with LEGO

Liberty Statue made with LEGO.
4 July 2012

Additional categories of this photo:

Can you imagine being an unsuspecting bystander at the University of Wisconsin- Madison during the winter of 1979? I’m pretty sure seeing the Statue of Liberty sticking up from the iced-over Lake Mendota, Planet-of-the-Apes-style, would probably stop you dead in your tracks. It started as a joke: two students promised that if they were elected to student government, they would get the Statue of Liberty relocated to campus. And they held true to their word, but sadly, the helicopters bringing her in floundered just as they entered campus and dropped our dear Liberty into the lake. Whoops. The poor thing was set ablaze just a few days later, but she returned in a fireproof format the next year. She was relegated to a storage silo for the next 19 years or so, but just this winter the students dragged her out to the frozen lake again just for kicks. (Note: This article was written in 2009.)

Source: “The Quick 10: Statues of Liberty (other than the original)” by Stacy Conradt – mentalfloss.com

Face of Statue of Liberty 2.jpg

By Nightscream at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.5], from Wikimedia Commons

Same-size replica of the face of the Statue of Liberty

Same-size replica of the face of the Statue of Liberty, seen as part of the exhibit in one of the corridors of the Statue’s pedestal. Taken en:September 18, en:2006 by Nightscream.
2006-12-07 (original upload date)

Stonehenge Replicas

Copycat versions of Stonehenge have appeared (and disappeared) over the years. What would the builders of the original Stonehenge think of these replicas?

Pottyhenge

Banksyglasto.JPG

By Rodw at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

"Stonehenge" made of portable toilets, made by Banksy at the Glastonbury Festival June 2007

“Stonehenge” made of portable toilets, made by Banksy at the Glastonbury Festival June 2007. Taken by Rod Ward 22nd June 2007.

In case you do not know who Banksy is, here is a description from Wikipedia:

Banksy is a pseudonymous United Kingdom-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Source: “Banksy” – Wikipedia

Carhenge

Carhenge takes car art to a new level. Here is a description of it from carhenge.com:

Carhenge, which replicates Stonehenge, consists of the circle of cars, 3 standing trilithons within the circle, the heel stone, slaughter stone, and 2 station stones and includes a “Car Art Preserve” with sculptures made from cars and parts of cars.

Located just north of Alliance, Nebraska, Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, painted gray to replicate Stonehenge. Built by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father, it was dedicated at the June 1987 summer solstice. – See more at: http://carhenge.com/#sthash.hP8EZlXo.dpuf

Source: Home page – carhenge.com

Carhenge, Nebraska.JPG

By Nobi-nobita (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Full view of Carhenge

Full view of Carhenge
1 September 2012, 22:16:48

Carhenge from SW 2.JPG

By Ammodramus (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Carhenge, located near Alliance, Nebraska

Carhenge, located near Alliance, Nebraska; seen from the southwest.
20 September 2013, 18:58:23

Carhenge, inner circle.JPG

By Nobi-nobita (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Detail view of the inner circle of Carhenge

Detail view of the inner circle of Carhenge
1 September 2012, 22:06:57

Carhenge trivehiclon 1.JPG

By Ammodramus (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Carhenge, located near Alliance, Nebraska "trilithon" on western side

Carhenge, located near Alliance, Nebraska: “trilithon” on western side.
20 September 2013, 19:00:09

Foamhenge

In 2004, fiberglass sculptor Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studio created Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia. It is made completely out of foam. Cline paid careful attention to details so that Foamhenge would be an exact replica of the original Stonehenge. According to RoadsideAmerica.com, he “even consulted a local ‘psychic detective’ named Tom who has advised him on how to position Foamhenge so that it is astronomically correct.” When questioned about the durability of Foamhenge against the elements, Cline stated that “’it’s non-biodegradable so it might last longer than the original.’” As for the possibility of vandals ruining Foamhenge, Cline gave the following response:

“At some point we’ll cover it with stucco,” he says. “Until then I’m only five minutes down the road with a paintbrush and sandpaper. I’m here to baby sit it.”

Source: “Foamhenge” – RoadsideAmerica.com

Foamhenge (Natural Bridge).jpg

Photo by Ben Schumin via Wikimedia Commons

Detail of Foamhenge, a sculpture in Natural Bridge, Virginia

Detail of Foamhenge, a sculpture in Natural Bridge, Virginia.
Photo by Ben Schumin on July 1, 2006.

Foamhenge.jpg

By Me (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The story of Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia

The story of Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia
8 April 2007

Honorable Mentions

Two other noteworthy Stonehenge replicas are Fridgehenge and Phonehenge. Fridgehenge was a Stonehenge replica made out of refrigerators that was located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I refer to it in the past tense because it no longer exists. Phonehenge is a Stonehenge replica made out of those old-fashioned red British phone booths. It is part of a rock-and-roll amusement park called Freestyle Music Park near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I could not find public domain or Creative Commons images of these replicas, so here are some links to articles that provide both pictures and more information about them:

“Stonefridge, a Fridgehenge, New Mexico” – Clonehenge

“Santa Fe, New Mexico: Stonefridge (Gone)” – RoadsideAmerica.com

“Phonehenge – Remarkable Replica Of Stonehenge” – Planet Oddity

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My Trip to San Francisco

I made an unexpected trip to San Francisco a little over a week ago. It was not a sightseeing trip, and I did not have a lot of time to walk around the city and take pictures. In addition, my brother brought three of his four young children on the trip, which surprised me because we were not going anywhere that would be fun for kids.

I was squashed in between my two nieces and their car seats in the back of a minivan, so I decided to wait to take pictures until we arrived in San Francisco. Not wanting to be distracted by my nieces and nephew, I took a few “stealth snapshots” at moments when they were occupied with other activities.

Mystic Hotel, San Francisco

Mystic Hotel, San Francisco

"Skyline" view of buildings with interesting patterns, San Francisco

“Skyline” view of buildings with interesting patterns, San Francisco

I visited the San Francisco Zoo a long time ago on a school field trip, but I do not think I went this far into the city before. The streets were busy and crowded. There were so many people walking around! Most of them were probably tourists. I was surprised that some streets had one red lane reserved only for buses and taxi cabs. Drivers had to maneuver around not only the buses, taxis, and pedestrians but also parked cars and construction barriers. I am glad I was not the one who drove on this trip. I do not want to go into detail about trying to find parking and how expensive it was . . .

Vintage streetlight and pedestrians on Stockton Street in San Francisco

Vintage streetlight and pedestrians on Stockton Street in San Francisco

My sister-in-law told me that my nieces and nephew were excited about going to San Francisco. They woke up right away even though it was 4:00 am in the morning. However, after a long two-hour drive and then a long wait in waiting areas and then in the minivan again for another two hours or so, their excitement quickly dissipated. I could see looks of boredom on their faces. They perked up a bit after we finally left San Francisco because we were going to go across the Golden Gate Bridge on the way home. My oldest niece was especially eager to see the Golden Gate Bridge, but by the time we got there she and my other niece were fast asleep! Nearly everyone in the minivan called out to my oldest niece to wake up. I even shook her slightly and called her name, but she still would not wake up! We kept calling and calling her but to no avail. Needless to say, she missed seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, waking up just a few moments after we went across it.

a hazy view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

My view of the Golden Gate Bridge through haze and a fingerprint-smudged minivan window

The rest of the trip was a slow crawl home. At one point in our journey back to Sacramento, it took about an hour to travel 10 miles! My oldest niece slept during most of the trip home. Sometimes in her slumber she would lean forward despite the restraints of her car seat, and my shoulder ended up being her pillow. My other niece and nephew were getting restless, especially after the batteries on their tablets ran low and they could not play any games. At one point, my other niece entertained herself by wearing her hoodie backwards so that the hood covered her face instead of the back of her head. She then started banging on her head as if it were a drum and started singing. Another variation of her “hood dance” was wearing her hoodie backwards with her arms only partially inside the sleeves so that she could wave the sleeves from side to side. My other niece is funny, and her “hood dance” made me laugh. However, she can also be annoying too, so I was glad when this nightmarish commute was over.

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Rock Art: Part 2

Besides petroglyphs and pictographs, earth figures called geoglyphs are also considered rock art. While petroglyphs and pictographs are created on rock surfaces, geoglyphs are large designs formed on the ground. There are two common methods of creating geoglyphs. According to former archaeologist K. Kris Hurst, one method involves “moving or arranging stones or earth or other objects within a landscape.” In addition, she states that they “can be carved into a hillside exposing bedrock.”

Source: “Geoglyphs: Ancient World Wide Landscape Art” by K. Kris Hirst – About.com Archaeology

Examples of Geoglyphs

Bighorn Medicine Wheel

The Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming reflects how Native Americans were attuned to the rhythms and patterns of the natural world. Wikipedia notes that medicine wheels were used for “religious, ritual, healing, and teaching purposes” and that the stones of many medicine wheels were arranged in a common pattern:

Most medicine wheels follow the basic pattern of having a center of stone(s), and surrounding that is an outer ring of stones with “spokes”, or lines of rocks radiating from the center with the spokes facing East, South, West and North following the cardinal directions.

Source: “Medicine wheel” – Wikipedia

In addition, the Sacred Destinations website notes that the Bighorn Medicine Wheel was “constructed around 700 years ago” and is “aligned with the stars.”

Source: “Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming” – Sacred Destinations

Bighorn medicine wheel.jpg

By National Park ServiceLifefeed at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wymoming

The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is a medicine wheel located in the Big Horn Mountains of the U.S. state of Wyoming.
9 November 2004 (original upload date)

Nazca Lines

On an arid coastal plain in Peru, the Nazca people embarked on an ambitious project between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500: the creation of hundreds of long lines, geometric figures, and various other designs. They pushed aside the red pebbles on the plain, and the paler ground beneath became their canvas.

National Geographic provides a brief description of the wide range and large size of the Nazca people’s remarkable achievement:

The lines are found in a region of Peru just over 200 miles southeast of Lima, near the modern town of Nasca. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs, also called biomorphs. Some of the straight lines run up to 30 miles, while the biomorphs range from 50 to 1200 feet in length (as large as the Empire State Building).

Source: “Nasca Lines – The Sacred Landscape” – National Geographic

Recently, a pilot discovered some new figures. According to The Huffington Post, these figures “include a snakelike figure roughly 200 feet long, a huge zigzag line, and a giant bird.” They “were apparently exposed by recent sandstorms in the area.”

Source: “New Nazca Lines Discovered In Peruvian Desert” – The Huffington Post

Why were the Nazca Lines made? Several theories have emerged over the years. According to National Geographic, archaeologists Paul Kosok and Maria Reiche argued that the Nazca Lines served an “astronomical and calendrical purpose.” However, additional research over the years reveals they were probably used for ritual purposes:

“It seems likely that most of the lines did not point at anything on the geographical or celestial horizon, but rather led to places where rituals were performed to obtain water and fertility of crops,” wrote Reinhard in his book The Nasca Lines: A New Perspective on their Origin and Meanings.

Anthony Aveni, a former National Geographic grantee, agrees, “Our discoveries clearly showed that the straight lines and trapezoids are related to water…but not used to find water, but rather used in connection with rituals.”

Source: “Nasca Lines – The Sacred Landscape” – National Geographic

Despite all of this archaeological study of the Nazca Lines, no one really knows for sure what was the exact purpose of these mysterious and fascinating lines and designs.

Lignes de Nazca oiseau.jpg

By Marcito (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nazca lines "The Heron" figure

Nazca Lines (bird)
27 August 2008

Nazca Lines Hummingbird.jpg

By Unukorno (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nazca Lines, hummingbird figure

Nazca Lines, hummingbird
12 September 2013

Nazca-lineas-perro-c01.jpg

By Colegota https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nazca-lineas-perro-c01.jpg

Nazca Lines, dog figure

The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs (drawings on the ground) located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana (a large flat area of southern Peru). In this picture, the figure is known as the dog.
Digital photo taken by author and post-processed with The GIMP.

Nazca Lines monkey.jpg

By Unukorno (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nazca Lines, monkey figure

Nazca Lines, monkey
12 September 2013

Nazca-lineas-arana-c01.jpg

By Colegota https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nazca-lineas-arana-c01.jpg

Nazca Lines, spider figure

The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs (drawings on the ground) located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles between the towns of Nasca and Palpa on the Pampas de Nasca(a large flat area of southern Peru). In this picture, the figure known as spider.
Digital photo taken by author and post-processed with The GIMP.
google map coordinate : -14.694105,-75.122334

Nazca-lineas-astronauta-c01.jpg

By Colegota http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nazca-lineas-astronauta-c01.jpg

Nazca Lines, astronaut figure

The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs (drawings on the ground) located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana (a large flat area of southern Peru). In this picture, the figure know as the astronaut.
Digital photo taken by author and post-processed with The GIMP.

Nazca-lineas-geo-c04.jpg

By Colegota http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nazca-lineas-geo-c04.jpg

Nazca Lines, geometric lines and figures

The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs (drawings on the ground) located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana (a large flat area of southern Peru). In this picture, geometrical lines and figures.
Digital photo taken by author and post-processed with The GIMP.

Hill Figures

Another group of interesting geoglyphs are hill figures. While there are some hill figures in other parts of the world, a large number of them are located in England. Many English hill figures depict horses, but there are other types of figures, such as giants, crosses, and badges. A few are prehistoric, while others were made within the past few hundred years.

The hill figures in England share common characteristics. As their name implies, many of them were cut into hillsides. In addition, many of them are white because the cutting process revealed the underlying chalk in the ground. For areas that did not have chalk underneath the topsoil, the hill figure creators used another process. Wikipedia notes that trenches were dug and then filled with “material brighter than the natural bedrock,” which was usually chalk taken from another location.

The hill figure creators were not as prolific as those who made the Nazca Lines. According to Brian Haughton in “The White Horse of Uffington,” “there are 56 hill figures scattered around England, with the vast majority on the chalk downlands of the southern part of the country.”

Sources:

“Hill figure” – Wikipedia

“The White Horse of Uffington” by Brian Haughton – Ancient History Encyclopedia

Hill figures served a variety of purposes. For instance, in “Chalk Figures,” Ellen Castelow traces the roots of the Cerne Abbas Giant back to the Celts. She argues that the Cerne Abbas Giant “was identified as Hercules and associated with a fertility cult.” There is even a fertility ritual associated with the Cerne Abbas Giant:

Until 1635 a maypole was set up near the giant and today ‘courting couples’ still make night-time pilgrimages up to the giant to make sure that their marriage will be blessed with children! Women it seems are supposed to roll over the giant’s ‘male appendage’ to make sure that their fertility will be enhanced!!

Source: “Chalk Hill Figures” by Ellen Castelow – Historic UK

The Cerne Abbas Giant – 011.jpg

By Pete Harlow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Cerne_Abbas_Giant_-_011.jpg

an aerial photograph of the Cerne Abbas Giant in England

An aerial photograph of the Cerne Abbas Giant taken from a Cessna 150 aircraft using an Olympus C1400L digital camera.
7 October 2001
Dimensions (from Wikipedia): about 180 ft (55 m) high and 167 ft (51 m) wide

Researchers have also speculated that the Uffington White Horse is a Celtic religious symbol. Catelow notes that the Uffington White Horse “probably represents a Celtic God” and that a “similar ‘horse’ is featured on old Celtic coins from 150BC.” Haughton presents some information that supports Catelow’s ideas:

Others, however, see the White Horse as connected with the worship of Belinos or Belinus, ‘the shining one’, a Celtic sun god often associated with horses. Bronze and Iron Age sun chariots, mythological representations of the sun in a chariot, were shown as being pulled by horses, as can be seen from the 14th century BC example from Trundholm in Denmark. If, as is now believed, the Celts were settled in Britain at the latest by the end of the Bronze Age, then the White Horse could still be interpreted as a Celtic horse-goddess symbol.

Source: “The White Horse of Uffington” by Brian Haughton – Ancient History Encyclopedia

Uffington-White-Horse-sat.jpg

By USGS (World Wind (go)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

satellite view of the Uffington White Horse in England

Sa[t]elite view of the Uffington White Horse
Dimensions (from “Chalk Figures”): 374 feet long and 130 feet high

The head of the White Horse of Uffington.jpg

Ethan Doyle White [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

the head of the White Horse of Uffington, a chalk geoglyph in Oxfordshire, England

The head of the White Horse of Uffington, a chalk geoglyph in Oxfordshire, England.
10 December 2012 (according to EXIF data)

The Whipsnade White Lion is an example of a hill figure used for advertising. Created in the 1930s, it marks the location of the Whipsnade Zoo so that the zoo can be easily spotted from the road or in the air.

Whipsnade White Lion – geograph.org.uk – 112460.jpg

George Mahoney [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whipsnade White Lion hill figure in England

Whipsnade White Lion. The White Lion cut into the hillside at Whipsnade Zoo.
26 March 2002
From geograph.org.uk

Here are some more examples of hill figures:

Windover Hill with Long Man.JPG

By Poliphilo (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Windover Hill with Long Man of Wilmington

Windover Hill with Long Man [of Wilmington]
28 March 2014
Dimensions (from Wikipedia): 69.2 metres (227 ft) tall
History (from Wikipedia): Formerly thought to originate in the Iron Age or even the neolithic period, more recent archaeological work has shown that the figure may have been cut in the Early Modern era – the 16th or 17th century AD. The origin of the Long Man remains unclear.

Bulford, England. Chalk Kiwi from Postcard, c.1918.jpg

See page for author [Public domain or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Postcard depicting the Bulford Kiwi hill figure

Postcard depicting the Bulford Kiwi
circa 1919
Dimensions (from Wikipedia): The Kiwi’s body is 1.5 acres (6,100 m2). From the Kiwi’s feet to the top of its back is 420 feet (130 m). The Kiwi’s beak is 150 feet (46 m) long. The letters “N.Z.” are 65 feet (20 m) long.
History (from Wikipedia): After the war was over, the troops were eager to return home, but no troop ships were available. In the wake of riots by disaffected New Zealanders, officers decided that the troops should be kept busy carving an enormous Kiwi into the chalk of the hill. This was done in February and March 1919, by the Canterbury and Otago Engineers Battalions.

While the Nazca Lines remained intact for thousands of years because of their desert location, hill figures are more vulnerable to changes in the environment. They need constant maintenance. Otherwise, grass and vegetation will grow over them, and they will disappear.

Over the years, efforts have been made to maintain and restore some of them, such as the Osmington White Horse below. Wikipedia notes that the upkeep of some of the hill figures is done by local people who “often work regularly to restore or maintain a local landmark.” Hopefully, these geoglyphs will be around in the years to come so that they can be appreciated by future generations.

Source: “Hill figure” – Wikipedia

Osmington white horse.jpg

By Rupert Phillip Acott (Life time: 1941) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Osmington white horse photo taken in 1883

Osmington white horse photo taken in 1883
Original publication: family photograph album
Immediate source: Inherited from family
Dimensions (from Wikipedia): 280 feet (85 m) long and 323 feet (98 m) high
History (from Wikipedia): The figure is of King George III, who regularly visited Weymouth.

Osmington White Horse – geograph.org.uk – 1257182.jpg

Steve Daniels [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Osmington White Horse hill figure in England

Osmington White Horse
7 June 2007
From geograph.org.uk

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